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Le pire et le meilleur des Noëls

The worst and best of Christmases

Christmas…. You wait for it all year long when you are a child and talking about it makes your eyes shine. Starting with the list of gifts you make to Santa Claus, to the decoration of the tree and the house, to the installation of the crib for some, and the preparations of the menus and the beautiful tables, it is a festiveperiod which spreads out over several weeks.

But is it always the famous “Christmas spirit” that prevails?

Uh…it is also an endless to-do list, gifts to find quickly, sometimes in crowed stores without the slightest idea. We keep smiling for the gifts that make us happy to give, but for others, how can we say… it’s the chore of the year! And the worst, the eternal question: who do you spend Christmas with this year? Your family or his? In both cases, you get 50% frustration !

And we’re not even talking about blended families, where there are sometimes 4 Christmases, a good half of which are slightly uncomfortable, help! We have conducted a small survey of the best and worst Christmas’s, and there is a large range. Perhaps you will find yourself there?


My best Christmases were in our big family house, the years when there were a lot of us, with all the stepfamily kids together. It was a lot of people, but it was super joyful and the preparations as a tribe are a real time of happiness and excitement! I especially remember the stuffing of the capons, so funny, a moment of anthology and complicit laughter, which only strengthens the bonds.

My worst Christmas was the one when I left on December 24th in the afternoon for the countryside (5 hours’ drive), taking my little son, my very old mother, my dog, the car full of luggage and the Christmas meal for 10 people that I was bringing from Paris, all this in terrible weather! About halfway there, the car broke down… we were close to spending Christmas on the highway in the middle of the country, and there I really experienced a horrible feeling of absolute discouragement.

And the universe was with me, because in the end I had a tow truck, a nice garage and a rented car that allowed us to arrive in time to warm up the dinner and go to the table, in an advanced state of exhaustion and with the desire to bite  😊


My best Christmas was spent in a vast and old family house in the country, all the family and blended family reunited, close friends who came with their children, and an endless preparation of all of the festivities … truffle market, foie gras making, the decoration of the house, including a huge chandelier above the dining room table dressed with ivy and holly, 3 gigantic decorated fir trees, one in gold, the other in silver, the last one in red, the installation of the old homemade crib … Super traditional but super successful! On the other hand, exhaustion guaranteed!

My worst Christmas was when, for the first time, I received in my new apartment the whole family, a good dozen people. I had decided to play it traditional, and a huge turkey was cooking in the oven. Beautifully browned and cooked to perfection, I take it out of the oven and then… catastrophe, it slips out of my hands and crashes on the kitchen floor! Guess what? I picked it up, put it back in the dish and didn’t tell anyone until after it was eaten…


My best Christmases are those of my childhood memories, when we were in the family house in the country, very cold in winter, the midnight mass, the little cakes and the glass of whisky left in front of the fireplace to comfort Santa Claus when he would come to drop the presents. Especially one extraordinary year, when my father had made a living crib with a real little newborn lamb, and my little baby sister, who of course was screaming. Magical!

My worst Christmas was spent on the 24th at a friend’s house (I was already moderately enthusiastic) and ended up coming home at 1am, with the kids and arms full of packages, by a broken-down elevator (we lived on the 6th floor), and the worst of the worst, by the keys of the apartment falling down the elevator shaft, so of course irrecoverable!!! Or how to spend a very, very hard Christmas and curse this holiday…


The most magical Christmases were the ones when my daughter was very small and watched with her bright and wide eyes the tree, the presents and especially Santa Claus stealthily passing by a man of the family in a big outfit, who took a big voice, which inevitably made her cry with fear! What is unheard of is that she never recognized who was hiding behind him… a simple red dress and a white beard are enough to make a man look like a legend. 😊 

My worst Christmas was a year where the atmosphere was rotten, everybody was on edge, everybody was looking for each other, couples were fighting, my sister was getting a divorce and broke down in tears, my brothers-in-law were mute, the kids were quarrelling about their gifts, the dinner was a disaster, my brother’s new fiancée was vegan, but he didn’t say so…  and as I opened my packages, I was crushed by the uselessness and ugliness of what was inside. Please, the other years, let’s go directly from December 23rd to 26th 😊 


My best Christmas was the year my sisters and I gave our parents a Golden Retriever puppy. It took a lot of ingenuity to shelter him at one of our homes for 48 hours after picking him up from the kennel, then on the evening of the 24th, isolate him in a room, making noise so that we couldn’t hear the poor puppy crying, put him in a big box covered with gift paper, and bring him very quickly to the living room before he screams or explodes the box from inside! The look on the parents’ faces when they unwrapped him was an amazing moment, and the puppy was obviously the star of the evening. I recommend the young ball of fur, a real cutie capable of defrosting the stuffiest atmosphere 😊

My worst Christmas was on December 24th when I was hosting a dozen family members. Decorated house, nice table, good dinner, aperitif in progress… when my husband makes a wood fire in the fireplace. At first, the idea is good! Except that he made a gigantic blaze, at one point it made a terrible noise and we had to call the fire department because the flue was burning, beginning of a fire. We had a very late dinner with overcooked dishes, a stubborn smell and a certain desire to divorce. 😊


The best Christmases I ever had was when I was a kid, in Martinique, because the atmosphere in the West Indies is really another world… We used to sing a lot with our families and neighbors during the holidays, there was something much more fraternal than in France… And then to see a Santa Claus in a bathing suit on a sandy beach, under the coconut trees, that is priceless! Well… I tried to relive that in France, but it was a complete failure

My worst Christmas was the one when I took my kitten to my parents. She had hidden herself so well (in my sister’s bras!) that I thought for a moment that she had fallen through a window and fallen from the 8th floor… Before I found her, it had totally spoiled my appetite and spoiled the evening!

Is Christmas in your house a joy or a chore? Do you find that it comes around too quickly every year, or do you look forward to it? In any case, here’s a little tip: l’Eau qui Enlace is a great moment of softness and tenderness, its emotional impact has even been proven by neuroscience: it brings joy, relaxation and comfort. It can be useful, in addition to being divine, right? And if not, L’Elixir de Sérénité is the ideal and super discreet anti-stress reflex: in case of anxiety or stress, a few little spritzes in the mouth, hidden behind the tree, and you find a certain zenitude ! We wish you a very Merry Christmas!


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